Who ever would have thought so much could be packed into a weekend - even a long one?
Veronica Henry's characters are engaging from the start, and although there's a big cast list here, I was caught up by every one of them. Each has his or her own dilemma and we can really empathise with them. For some reason, it's Colin who is staying in my head. He's the wealthy baker whose one mistake in life was to father a child by someone at a time his own wife was sunk in a deep, dark depression. There's no way to make quick moral judgements here. He knows what he did was wrong, but his marriage was in a difficult place at the time and he has been trying to do the right thing ever since - paying for his daughter's upkeep and making sure he sees Chelsey once a year. Poor Chelsey is plump and puddingy, but he still loves her and wants to do the right thing by her. Facing his wife, Alison, with the truth is perhaps the hardest thing he has ever done, but this part of the story, too, is brilliantly told.
There are many strands in this book, though, not just Colin and young Chelsey's story - and each one is lively, rounded and compelling. And the setting is sublime - who wouldn't yearn for a weekend in those sumptuous bedrooms, eating Luca's fabulous food? And who could fail to warm to Nick Barnes and his divine brothers?
I really recommend this book, it's easy to read and hugely enjoyable.